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Troy restaurant joins community to provide food to hospital workers, families in need

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published April 7, 2020

 From the left, Anne Lally, Laurie DePanici, Andy Kohl, Nan Kerr-Mueller, Smith Middle School Principal Chris Mueller, Christin Silagy, Andrea Kohl, Morse Elementary School Principal Stephanie Zendler, Lexie Oleksienko, and Sarah Johansson pack food donations at Morse Elementary School March 25.

From the left, Anne Lally, Laurie DePanici, Andy Kohl, Nan Kerr-Mueller, Smith Middle School Principal Chris Mueller, Christin Silagy, Andrea Kohl, Morse Elementary School Principal Stephanie Zendler, Lexie Oleksienko, and Sarah Johansson pack food donations at Morse Elementary School March 25.

Photo provided by the Troy School District

 Kellie Ann Holcomb, right, donates pans of salads and variety of meats to the nurses working with COVID-19 patients at Beaumont Hospital, Troy, April 3.

Kellie Ann Holcomb, right, donates pans of salads and variety of meats to the nurses working with COVID-19 patients at Beaumont Hospital, Troy, April 3.

Photo provided by Fogo de Chao Brazilian Steakhouse

TROY — The Fogo de Chao Brazilian Steakhouse restaurant on Big Beaver Road in Troy has donated hot and cold meals to hospital workers and a Troy School District community initiative in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Kellie Ann Holcomb, the sales manager for Fogo de Chao in Troy, said that she delivered restaurant food items for the Troy School District Bridge the Gap program; the intensive care unit nurses at Beaumont Hospital, Troy, working with COVID-19 patients; and staff at Children’s Hospital of Michigan - Troy April 3. 

“To date, we have fed about 200 men and women working on the front line of the coronavirus battle and the DMC Children’s Hospitals,” the Holcomb said in a prepared statement. 

In addition, restaurant officials said they fed about 40 staff members at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, working the drive-up lines for coronavirus testing.

“The plan was to bring food for the staff that was working in a high-risk area with no access to grab lunch or dinner easily,”  Holcomb explained. 

“Fogo’s top priority is always our team and the communities we serve, so when the order to close the dining room was issued by local officials and we began shifting to takeout and delivery, we knew that we had to help those risking their lives for others by providing some quality meals. The gratitude from those we have been feeding has been overwhelming. As long as we can help the brave men and women working on the front lines right now, we will continue to do so,” Holcomb said in the release. . 

The Troy School District launched the Bridge the Gap program, where Troy families can pick up a free bag of groceries 6-7:30 p.m. Fridays at Morse Elementary School, 475 Cherry Drive. 

This is in addition to the Grab and Go breakfast and lunch program and the free hot meal program offered each Thursday at Morse Elementary School. 

Since the start of the school shutdown, Troy School District food service workers, bus drivers and volunteers have prepared and distributed over 17,000 meals to students and families in need, according to the Troy School District. 

“The mandated school closures and the shutdown of many businesses during the COVID-19 crisis means that thousands of children and families in Troy face food uncertainty,” Kerry Birmingham, the director of communications and strategic initiatives, states in an April 2 email to Troy School District families. “But it also has brought out heroes among us – from our front line medical professionals to those who lend their support quietly behind the scenes. 

“Since the beginning, our food service and transportation teams have been working tirelessly every week to make sure that no child goes hungry in the Troy School District. That, plus our Bridge the Gap grocery program and other outreach efforts ensures that cupboards are full and hearts are warm.” 

In a March 30 email letter, Birmingham states, “so many of you have offered to help that we have created a ‘shop and drop’ donation dropoff in addition to our grocery pickup on Fridays. We do not want anyone to make an extra trip to the store to buy things to donate, but if you are shopping for your own family and want to pick up some extra items, you can drop them at Morse from 3-4 p.m. every Friday (you can also donate online at tinyurl.com/TSDcares). We truly appreciate the willingness of this community to help one another.” 

Birmingham also thanked local businesses, including Emergency Restoration, Jimmy John’s and Grand Tavern of Troy for “their generous donations of food and necessities.” 

Great Harvest Bread, Big Beaver United Methodist Church and Faith Lutheran Church also held food drives to add to existing food inventory at Morse Elementary. 

Donation items needed for Bridge the Gap include: pasta, rice, ramen noodles, soups, cereal, noodles, canned fruit and vegetables, peanut butter, jelly, canned tuna, crackers, canned salmon, pasta sauce, fruit snacks, granola bars, baby wipes, baby formula, cleaning supplies, feminine supplies, diapers, toilet paper and soap. 

Text Fogotroy to 31996 to receive a link to Fogo De Chao’s carryout menu.